Translation Philosophy

A New Translation?

The OSSV will not start as a new translation of the Scriptures from the original Hebrew and Greek – though eventually it should evolve into an essentially new translation.

To begin, the OSSV will utilize the public domain text of the World English Bible (WEB) which in turn is based on the public domain (but archaic) American Standard Version (ASV).

There seems to be little reason to reinvent the wheel – especially when one can replace the entire wheel over time, piece by piece.


The OSSV is envisioned as being maintained in a format similar to a wiki – but unlike the popular Wikipedia, it will not be open for anyone to edit – rather the OSSV community will use a meritocratic approach for allowing editors. The goal here being to maintain always a fairly trustworthy version of Scripture available for public utilization.

We highly encourage those with specialization in this field – original languages scholars, commentators, professors, and pastors – to participate in this community, but we will also accept assistance from anyone who is able to work in a congenial manner and deliver productive results.

There are many ways in which folks of all ages and backgrounds can contribute to the OSSV. For example, we will be looking at current translations of Scripture to see how they handle specific passages and denote ones that are especially effective in communicating the verse in question. This does not require a knowledge of the original languages – just the ability to read and analyze existing translations of the Scriptures and post intelligent summaries of the wording/phrasing/methodology utilized.

Dynamic or Literal?

The OSSV is based on a literal translation (WEB/ASV) but will strive to achieve a balance between dynamic and literal methods. The New Living Translation (NLT) has demonstrated over time a significant ability to maintain readability while moving closer to a literal rendering of the text – we believe that the OSSV should be able to surpass the NLT in this same manner due to the community and open nature of the OSSV project.


There will not be a faith statement to which team members must agree before contributing to the project. The contributions of individuals from all backgrounds and belief systems are welcome. The goal is a readable and accurate translation of Scripture – not to propagate a specific theological viewpoint.